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Tag & Title Service of Maryland tries to demystify the REALID requirements with informational workshops

| June 16, 2019, 04:01 PM
Rams Head

Beth Caro (left), owner and operator of Tag & Title Service of Maryland in Edgewater, explained Maryland’s REAL ID program to a local resident at the South County Senior Center in Edgewater.

As owner and operator of a successful family owned business, Beth Caro believes in the importance of being part of the community where she lives and works.  Nowhere was that commitment more evident than last week at the South County Senior Center in Edgewater, where when Caro and her Tag & Title Service of Maryland colleague Jim Cooke stopped by to explain the state’s REAL ID program to a group of concerned local residents.

Caro and Cooke spent the first hour of their informational presentation outlining the details of the REAL ID program to the group, then met with many of the local men and women individually for nearly another 60 minutes to help them understand what they need to do before the federally mandated enforcement deadline of October 1, 2020.

“The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress after Sept. 11, 2001, that establishes specific minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic commercial flight,” Caro explained.  “This is very real and that deadline will be here before you know it. It’s only a little more than a year away.

“To avoid a recall of your driver’s license or identification card, you need to collect all of your required documentation and make an appointment at an MDOT MVA branch as soon as possible,” Caro added.  “Our office can assist you by identifying all of the documents you need to take with you, and by scheduling an appointment for you at a convenient MVA location.”

Cooke said scheduling an appointment in advance is essential to avoiding long lines and a long wait.

“If you schedule an appointment at the MVA through us, chances are you’ll be out of there in 30 minutes or less,” Cooke said.  “That’s a heck of a lot better than being there for three or four hours, as some people have been.”

Not surprisingly, the residents who filled the packed conference room at the South County Senior Center last week had many excellent questions about the REAL ID program; Caro and  Cooke patiently stayed until every last question was answered.

A sampling of the questions included, “Do I have to pay for a REAL ID?  My driver’s license already has a star in the upper-right hand corner; am I REAL ID compliant?  I’m over 65 and having trouble finding my required documents; what can I do?  What if I don’t have the needed documentation to certify my REAL ID application?  Can I board a plane with the license I have now?”

Cooke also underscored an important point to the group that included many women.

“If you got married at some point and have a different last name now than the last name you were born with, you need to bring in a marriage license to the MVA to comply with this program,” Cooke emphasized.  “Even if you got married, then divorced and went back to your maiden name, you have to provide that documentation for every time you changed your last name!”

As board secretary of the Maryland Vehicle Titling Association (MVTA), Caro said she has been excited to help train and advance the license titled agents of Maryland in partnering with the MVA in spreading the word about becoming REAL ID compliant.

“It is important to reach out and assist the seniors of the community, especially since there has been a lot of older birth certificates that have been rejected as a valid document for the REAL ID license,” Caro noted.

Caro said Tag & Title Service of Maryland is open seven-days-a-week to make it convenient for residents to ask questions or book an MVA appointment, either in person at their offices at 24 Old South River Road in Edgewater, or by phone at 833-824-6363.

“Let us help you now,” Caro said.  “Don’t procrastinate and think you have plenty of time to comply.  You don’t want to be stressed out and scrambling to meet the deadline.  You want this to be one more thing you can check off you ‘To do’ list!”

Caro and Cooke are scheduled to hold similar educational workshops at numerous locations throughout Anne Arundel County over the next 16 months.

Rams Head

Category: Businesses, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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